Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Working through injury

It's been a while since I wrote here, mainly because I was forced to take off two weeks from running due to a painful bit of ITB tendinitis.  After a 10 mile run on 12/24 I felt some serious pain on the side of my right knee.  I'd experienced this before and knew what it was, my Iliotibial Band, a tendon that runs from the hip to the knee, was inflamed. The best thing to do is rest, and that meant no skiing or running for a few weeks.  At first, I could barely walk without pain, and going down stairs was agony.  I alternated ice for the pain and heat to promote healing, but rest time is the best cure.

Almost exactly two weeks after the pain started I was scheduled to run the Disney half marathon in Orlando.  I really wanted to run this race, going through the parks would be great and the finisher's medal was really nice (Donald Duck). I tried a brief run the day before I was going to fly down to Orlando but it was clear that I would be in a lot of pain if I ran, probably setting back the rest of my training by several weeks. It just wasn't worth it.

We went to Orlando anyway, my brother was running the marathon on Sunday and I wanted to be there to support him.  It was great seeing the whole family, but walking around the park and seeing all the runners still wearing their medals was almost as painful as the knee. I couldn't even wear the shirt and try to blend in because it would be misrepresentation or bearing false witness or something.  That was the low point of the weekend, but I cheered myself up by thinking bad thoughts about all those who ran.

While at the Expo, Monica bought me The Stick to speed my recovery and help prevent a recurrence.  All I know so far is that it's painful, so that's got to be good, right?  Actually, it does seem to help a lot, and combined with ice, stretching, the foam roller, and ibuprofen I've been able to run this past week, even a 12 miler on the marathon course this Saturday.  I'm still working on a full recovery, but I'm back running again and that makes all the difference in the world.